President George Weah has spoken positively of his trip to China and the benefit Liberia stands to accrue, with specific reference to the US$54 million grant and others soon to be revealed, a release from the Executive Mansion has said.
President Weah termed as successful for Liberia’s recovery process his visit to China in terms of the gains made in terms of re-strengthening the country’s relations with China as well as its support for agriculture, road, health and technology under the government’s Pro-poor Agenda.
According to the release, China offered a US$54 million grant to Liberia for the construction of two overhead bridges as well as US$20 million in food aid.
The President made the comments Sunday, September 9, 2018, at the Roberts International Airport shortly after he returned from China where he joined other African leaders at the 2018 Edition of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
FOCAC’s objectives are equal consultation, enhancing understanding, expanding consensus, strengthening friendship and promoting cooperation between Africa and the People’s Republic of China.[Consultation Mechanism] as prescribed in the Program for China-Africa Cooperation in Economic and Social Development adopted at the 2000 Ministerial Conference of FOCAC, China and Africa agreed to set up joint follow-up mechanisms to conduct regular evaluations on the implementation of the follow-up actions.
“I have the responsibility to develop the country, and I will do everything in my power to build partnership with other countries and bring Liberia on par with them through infrastructure, road connectivity, good healthcare system and a good educational sector,” Weah said.
The President lauded the Chinese government for the grant given the country and revealed that more is expected to follow.
In a related development, President Weah expressed disagreement with those who underrated the financial aid China offered Liberia.
He added, “No one in his/her sound mind will not appreciate a free gift from a friend.”
A grant is a sum of money given by an organization, especially a government, for a particular purpose, often non-repayable funds or products disbursed or gifted by one party (grant makers) to a government department, corporation, foundation or trust; to a recipient, often (but not always) a non-profit entity, educational institution, business or an individual.
“It is always good to be grateful to people who give you free money to develop your country,” the President said, reaffirming Liberia’s commitment to the “One-China Policy.”
“One-China policy” is an approach that says that there is only one country called China, despite the fact that there are two governments – the Chinese and Taiwanese authorities – with the official name of China.
In the case of the United States, the One-China Policy was first stated in the Shanghai Communiqué of 1972, concluding that, “The United States acknowledges that Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China.”
Dozens of African leaders attended the two-day gathering, which takes place every three years as the linchpin (cornerstone, heart) of Chinese foreign policy in Africa as well as the fulcrum of its investment and lending on the continent.
It is also part of China’s efforts to build greater ties with the African continent, to reinforce China’s image of an emerging commercial and diplomatic power in Africa. It also overshadows the prospect of coordinating Chinese programs with other players, such as the United States, in support of Africa’s development objectives.